By Zach Backiewicz, ’19
On April 2nd, the Villanova Wildcats defeated the Michigan Wolverines in the National Championship game to win their second title in the past three years. The final score was 79-62 as the Wildcats dominated the majority of the game.
The Wildcats were led by the sixth-man Donte DiVincenzo, who scored a career-high 31 points in the game and received the MOP (Most Outstanding Player) honors. The Naismith National Player of the year Jalen Brunson added an additional nine points but played a prominent role throughout the entire tournament.
Even though Michigan started the game on a high note with strong defense, Villanova’s three-point shooting and size in the paint would eventually wear them out. The Wolverines were led by Moritz Wagner and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman who combined for 39 points. The Big Ten conference championship leader surprised many experts and capped their season off while going on a 16 game win streak.
This year’s tournament has been considered one of the unique tournaments in recent years after Virginia lost to the University of Maryland Baltimore County in the first round. This game was the first time ever that a 16 seed has beaten a 1 seed. Despite the multiple upsets in the tournament, Villanova was able to perform highly each game winning by an average 18 points per game.
Junior J.T. Mitchell was one of the many students who predicted Villanova to win it all while creating his bracket.
“I just knew that Villanova would win it this year because of their success throughout the past couple of years,” Mitchell said.
In fact, Villanova has not only become a contending team in the Big East Conference but also a nationwide basketball powerhouse. After winning a title in 2016 on a buzzer beater against North Carolina, Villanova has continued to make deep tournament runs and having successful seasons.
Even though the college basketball season has come to an end, basketball enthusiasts will still be able to watch the sport during the NBA playoffs. However, college basketball fans will have to wait until late fall for the NCAA season to start up again.